Relieve Jaw Pain with Albuquerque, NM, Dentist
Derived from the Greek word meaning “gnashing of teeth,” bruxism refers to the often unconscious act of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaws. Causes of bruxism can range from psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety, to malocclusion, which refers to misalignment in the relationship of upper and lower teeth. Common symptoms of bruxism include worn or cracked teeth, facial muscle pain, headaches or migraines, and tissue damage to the inner cheeks and tongue. Yet, because grinding and clenching occurs most frequently during sleep, many sufferers are unaware of the cause of their pain.
If left unchecked, bruxism could lead to TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joints are located between your cheekbones and ears, where the lower jaw connects to the skull. Clenching and grinding can destroy the cartilage in these joints. In addition, TMJ disorder can cause jaw popping and jaw clicking, facial and ear pain, and even dizziness.
As a TMJ dentist, at your dental checkup, Dr. Mark Miller will look for signs indicative of bruxism and will discuss his findings with you so that you fully understand the issue, its causes, and possible treatments. Together, you and he will determine a treatment that best fits your lifestyle and needs. In most cases, Dr. Miller will fit you with an occlusal splint or “nightguard.” Constructed from custom-shaped acrylic resin, these dental appliances fit over the teeth and are worn during sleep to prevent damage from clenching and grinding. Furthermore, Dr. Miller may discuss lifestyle changes, such as exercise and stress management, to help relieve symptoms of bruxism.